Monday, June 29, 2015

Orange is the New What?

My husband and I do not have regular TV channels, we only have Netflix. It is that time of year where Netflix starts adding on seasons to their shows that have previously been on television. Currently the one plastered all over the spotlight section is Orange is the New Black. I’m sorry but what does that even mean? Apparently after some research it is a fashion term. When did orange jumpsuits become fashionable or even okay to wear? 

Orange Jumpsuit: 101 ways to make this fashionable
Halloween is the only thing that comes to mind. 

Hello, you have to go to jail to get them! Just my thoughts on this, but I personally don’t want to go to jail and I’m pretty sure my friends don’t either; not even to try a new fashion. It seems like in our culture something that we would consider shameful is easily reconfigured in television to make it “OK”. Think I'm joking? Just this week laws have been changed to force society into acceptance. How many of you watch a TV show that displays sex outside of marriage? (Marriage being God's definition of one man and one woman.) I know I am guilty of this. However, if this happened in our actual lives we would have a field day. Some of the most popular shows have the most sex in them for example: Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Grey’s Anatomy.  I’m going to make one up but I’m sure there is an actual version of this. 

The show you are watching is about a husband and wife. They are having problems, but the script paints the wife as the cause. The husband tries everything to gain her love but it just isn’t working. The husband is a very attractive man and meets the woman of his dreams. He knows he shouldn’t get involved but his friends tell him that his wife doesn’t treat him as he deserves. So he gives into his desires and starts dating this girl on the side. Throughout the show you have a double life being led; one with his wife and one with his girlfriend. The more you watch, the more they paint the wife as the villain. The husband is of course sweet, and caring; and the new girlfriend is perfect. By the end of the series you are ok that he leaves his wife and starts a new life with the other woman. 

Da da da! What just happened? Slowly but surely over time you got accustomed to the idea. Now I personally have a lot of friends who watch Orange is the New Black and even after reading this won’t change their mind. Part of it will be that we (millennials) cannot stop watching something after we have started. We get into the plot and can’t turn it off. We lye awake at night wondering about the next episode and how the script will use the latest turn of events. Now why does Orange is the New Black bother me? It promotes and idolizes a lifestyle that is harmful. Yes, I am pulling the same sex card. I think as Christians this is something we do not know how to deal with. Our parents, although having knowledge on this topic, are not well versed enough today. They grew up in an age where this was something people didn’t talk about. Now it is on every magazine, social media page even television, and we aren’t allowed to have a say. Why? Because we don’t accept it and in today’s society you must accept everything and everyone, even if it goes against your belief system. The most common thing I hear is "How does this affect your life?" First, if you are posing this question then you are proving that it does. Just because I am not part of this lifestyle or condone it, doesn't mean I can pretend it doesn't exist or become tolerant. How am I supposed to tell my children about society now? Most of us learned the harder things of life and sin once we were old enough to understand them. My husband and I will need to tell our children about controversial and difficult topics before they are in middle school. This scares me, and yes affects my life. However, as a Christian I believe we are to answer people with love, as Jesus did. He never sugar coated life to make sin tolerant. He used scripture and love to inform and change the hearts of those caught in sin. Here are two verses I think help me with this ideology. 

           Jeremiah 29:11
 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

          Hebrews 13: 1-5
“1. Let brotherly love continue. 2. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. 4. Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. 5. Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

There is a lot to take in, but I think this is what we should apply. God is saying that he has a plan for our life that has not been revealed to us; but it is a future with hope! That sounds really good to me. Hope is a powerful thing. It drives people to do wonders. If God has a future for us, that is not of evil but of peace, why then do we do things outside of his boundaries? Because we are human, that simple. Now also notice that God tells us to love continually. This means even those who’s lifestyle is not acceptable to Christ. If you think about it why would someone consider coming to church or even entertain the thought of Jesus if Christians, who are supposed to bare the image of God, do not display love? To quote Alan Jackson, “Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us, but the greatest is love.” So how can we display love, if you read a little further it says to remember the prisoners as if we were chained with them. People in this lifestyle are prisoners to it and the sin created. We must remember them. Not every person struggles with the same things in life but before you were saved, you were a prisoner in some fashion to sin. Jesus didn't pick disciples that were pillars in the community; He picked ordinary men, with sin in their lives, and showed them ultimate love. 

              1 Corinthians 13: 1-6 
      "1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

                James 2: 14-17
        "14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

Want to be more like Jesus? Be there for those who don’t know him yet. 

Is it a wonder today that our generation has a high divorce rate, or is making headlines in sin? No, I believe it is just a product of our culture. We have allowed this through social media, television and other outlets. If you don’t want to enable this movement, make a difference in your life and the life of others by looking at what you bring into your home. It is cliche, but what would Jesus do? I don’t see him pressing play.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Homes and Housewives

Side note, right now I am eating strawberries that I grew in my garden and they are delicious!

Ok so we can dive in now. This has been done before but I saw a post this week on facebook that just fired me up, so I’m going to talk anyway. Bear with me. 

Proverbs 31 Woman….. First off, this passage in my opinion is written for both husband and wife. Yes, it is the example for a wife to be in the home but, it is also the guidelines for a man to look for in his future wife. You cannot expect a woman who has never cooked a day in her life to instantly provide every meal for you. Men need to look for the qualities they want in a spouse before they marry her; not expect those qualities to just magically appear. With that said, wives need to provide for their husbands while he is providing financially. If you both work that’s great, I have a job outside the home however, that doesn't mean because I’m working I don’t need to make dinner, or because he worked he can’t help me put the dishes away. It goes both ways in a marriage. One person should not be catered to. If you want that in your marriage, don't get married just stay home with your mom, thats what your looking for. Ok so I won’t rant anymore and we actually get something accomplished today. Here is the post I saw.  

(The New Hot 89.9 FM)

This is true, the home is not what it used to be. Honestly, I don't know if I want the home to be as it was in the early to mid 20th century. I have a job and I want to keep working even when Ethan and I have kids. However, I know I am not the breadwinner and I could never ask my husband to stay home while I work. It would kill him. I need to be the one who works in the home to make it a home. With that being said I have determined that the Proverbs 31 Woman in some respects is unattainable for me. Some of you may think it is possible, I don’t!. 

                Proverbs 31: 10-31 
10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, 
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Ok so if you just finished that then yeah, unattainable. We have to remember that this was written almost 3000 years ago, three thousand years! That is a long time yet, the principles still apply to our daily lives. Granted not every woman can sew, or cook, or garden, but in what we can do, it should edify our lives for God and for our husbands. Now read it again, I’m sure there is something in the passage that you realized you could do, but you aren’t. For me it is providing food for my household. I used to sleep in everyday while my husband got up for work, made himself breakfast and lunch. How is this helping him? So now I get up with him, I can go back to sleep if I want when he leaves. I make him breakfast and coffee while he makes sandwiches for lunch. That’s right team effort. WOOT WOOT… but seriously I rise with him and provide him a meal. I know it sounds silly but our marriage has been even better since. He is extremely thankful for it and I enjoy the extra kisses I get for making his eggs just right. Plus, on a bad day and I do want to sleep in, he doesn't mind, he is actually even more loving in that area as well. If I say "sorry I slept really bad and need some more," he will tuck me in, give me a kiss and when I do wake up he has usually made a pot of coffee for me. How sweet! I’m sure there is another part of the passage that I could work on as well but right now one step at a time. 

You don’t have to be a Proverbs 31 woman to be a good wife, but to be a great one, you should read and apply it to your life. Husbands worry about providing for their family. The best way to serve him? Live within your means! This will eliminate the pressure on him, and will demonstrate your love for him. God didn't write scripture to degrade us but to help us on our journey to become more like Christ; and wouldn't Christ make breakfast for his bride?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Drawn to Job

Job 19: 25-27
Finding time for the Bible in our busy lives can be difficult; we have to make God a priority. Scheduling a time during the day is the best way of starting a habit. We do this to make sure we make it to the gym each week, we should be able to incorporate a Bible study the same way. Making sure we spend time evenly in the old and new testaments. Since our faith is based majorly in the New testament that we forget the importance of the Old. The only reason our faith is valid is because of the prophesies that Jesus fulfilled that were written down in the Old testament. To better understand his character and our faith we have to read the Bible as a whole unit, not two.
As Christians we still receive trials throughout our life. We are not exempt from hardship as believers however, we can go through our trials knowing that the Lord is on our side.

      Philippians 4:13 
                 " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

To learn about trials and how to endure through them I believe the book of Job has the best examples. Have you ever felt drawn to read a book? I have, and usually it is toward the book of Job.
Introduction to Job in NKJV
I have learned over time that this is the Holy Spirit talking to me, and His way of preparing me for the next season of life. Job is a book about faith, perseverance, and humility. This book allows us to see how the spiritual world works, and how God allows the Devil to work in our lives, for our benefit. The thought of the Devil working in our lives doesn't sound beneficial, but it is by God's will.

      Job 1:7-12
              "And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”"

The Lord allows the Devil have a hand in our lives so we will trust in Him to lead, and guide us through our trials. He will only give us what He knows we can handle. He brought Job to the Devil's attention because He knew he was an upright man, who was righteous and trusted in the Lord. Because of Job's faith the Lord had blessed him greatly. He was considered the wealthiest man in the East; with a large family, many possessions and an abundance of land. However, the Lord allowed the Devil to use Job's possessions and success to inflict pain upon him to try to get him to abandon the Lord. In one day Job lost everything, this livestock, servants and then his children. However, instead of cursing the Lord, as the Devil wanted, he worshiped. Now his worship was not a song of praise, but a prayer. 
         Job 1:21
                 "21 And he said:“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Job went to the Lord in his time of trial with the knowledge that He was in control. He trusted in the Lord to help him through his time of need. We need to do the same in every trial, no matter the difficulty. 

       Philippians 4: 6-8
                "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

We cannot have only good in our lives. We have to accept the trials as well. When we get married we take vows for better and for worse; the same applies to God. We need to hold steadfast in him no matter what is happening in our lives. Trials show the true nature of our heart. Will we stay true to the Lord, or will we abandon Him and go our own way? Job trusted in the Lord to bring him out of his trial while his friends and wife were telling him to curse God and go his own way. This is an example of God building us up upon himself, this life is temporary and we need to base ourselves firmly in the one who will last forever. Job knew this, and it is one of the reasons that he held steadfast to the Lord. 

         Job 19: 25-27
           "25. For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26. And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27. Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another.How my heart yearns within me!" 
The Lord loves us all in our times of need and plenty, and he reveals His divine power and majesty to us during our tribulation. In Job chapters 38-41 we learn of the wondrous powers and authority God holds over the universe. How he laid the foundations of the world, drew boundaries for the seas, brings forth the season for animals to have their young, and commands the Eagle to fly. He has the power and grace to bring us through our trials if we trust in Him. We must go to Him in thanksgiving and wait on His deliverance. It may not be in the way we would like but God has a plan for our life that is fruitful and blessed.

         Lamentations 3: 24-25
                  24. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,“Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.

By believing and trusting in the Lord, Job was renewed and known as righteous in the eyes of the Lord and in the eyes of those around him.

       Job 42:10  
                 10. And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Here is a great Bible study packet for Job if you want to dive in a little further. 
You should also check out Good Morning Girls Resources , she has a great color-coded bookmark for Bible study and reading. While you are here take a peak at my Bible Study page; there are some great examples for studying God's Word. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015


I have been married for almost two years and supposedly we are still in the romantic phase of marriage. In the romantic phase you are willing to do most anything for your spouse. Back rubs, cuddling, sharing your ice cream, and getting up in the middle of the night to help them when they are sick. Ethan and I have done all of these and much more, but what we don't do is wash each other's feet. Not only will we not wash them but we also won't touch them. Something about feet just bothers people down to the core. They are gross. Even the ones that get pedicures and are perfectly clean; they are still gross to us. I have only received one foot rub from Ethan and it was before we were even engaged. I think he did it just hoping I'd keep dating him. Now when I ask the most common answer is "maybe some other time", meaning never. If I ever do receive another, guarantee he will make me put a sock on so he isn't touching my foot. Now we are married, we love each other down to the bone, and we are still not willing to do this. Yet, there once was a woman who not only touched Jesus' feet but washed them with her tears, wiped them with alabaster oil, and dried them with her hair.

Luke 7: 36-38
      36 "Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil."
If you continue through the passage you will see that this woman was not someone special but rather by the language of the passage either promiscuous or a prostitute. People recognized her name with her profession and she was not one to have over for Sunday brunch. However, she unlike many of the people Jesus spoke to, truly loved Him. Weeping when she saw Him, she knew that only through His mercy, He could change her life. She washed His feet with an oil that cost most likely a year's wages. Can you imagine buying something for your spouse that cost one year of wages and you used the entire object in five maybe ten minutes? 

      Luke 12:34
            34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This woman placed all of her treasure on Jesus' feet. She showed Him the abundance of love unlike any other. When we picture Jesus we see a man who is glowing and perfectly clean. Jesus was not perfectly clean. His feet were dirty. He walked in the dust and mud and anything else on the road with sandals. His feet were covered with little pebbles and twigs and she wiped them with her hair. After she had finished worshiping Him, she didn't rush home to wash her hair of the thistles or wipe her hands clean. No she walked with the abundance of peace in her life and the knowledge that her hair now smelled like Jesus. 

This woman may have been the lowest of society but on that day she became a princess in heaven.  If you want to know what serving your spouse should look like, she demonstrated it to the fullest. She placed everything she had in Jesus, trusted Him with her whole heart. Isn't the goal as Christians to be more like Jesus? He washed his disciples feet. We should be willing to humble ourselves to serve our spouse in every way. Next time you read this passage don't look at the fact that she was a sinner but how she demonstrates love and humility. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

College Transitions

College Transitions

It’s a known fact that young adults, once they go to college and are on their own, leave the church. Parents, and elders always wonder why, but I don't. It makes perfect sense. Think about it, just think about it. (After writing that all I can picture is the video “just look at it” haha laughing so hard right now.) Ok, back to reality. Honestly though, I really don’t understand why parents are shocked to find out their children haven't been going to church or reading the Bible. Most of them went to college they should know why this happens. Here are my thoughts.

First: No matter how grounded in God your child is, they want to be their own person. If you’ve ever read Genesis, you would know that people like to do their own thing. So, what happens next? Your 18 year old is ripe for the pickings with an underdeveloped brain. They move to a new city without any friends to keep them on the strait and narrow. Therefore, they slowly but surely drift away. 
That's right they drift. Why is that? 

Second: College, while it is supposed to be about learning, is generally more of a long four year party with a couple classes here and there. Besides, who doesn't like a good ole PAR-TAY, least of all an 18 year old. If they grew up in a sheltered home, (nothing wrong with protecting your kids) they have never been to one. So they decide to try it out and then another and another. Before you know it, your 18 year old sweetheart is now a college student; complete with a degree in beer pong. Guarantee they will remember this longer then the prerequisite class, having nothing to do with their degree, that they paid between $300-$800 for. 

Third: Their music choice and friends change. It all depends on what you surround yourself with. Ever hear the expression “you are what you eat” ? Well I’m making another, “You are what you listen to." Look at the presets on your radio. Anything Christian on there? You have six options, how much do you want to bet that one, maybe two, is a Christian station? Exactly my point. Now that said, nothing is wrong with some good U2, Bob Dylan, Elvis, Adele, etc… etc… But once you start listening to a ton of rap, (there is always the option for LeCrae) or songs with a bunch of cuss words; it is only a matter of time until that song becomes your life. Sounds funny but it’s true. I know this from my own experience. 

In college I listened to everything that was modern, and there are some songs that I still love today, but a lot of them should never have been in my life. During this period of life I struggled the most with morals and friends. Most of my friends back home (Idaho, I went to Alaska for college) were A: Still friends and seeing each other often, and B. Getting married. I was lonely. I wanted to have someone in my life day to day. I watched shows that had a lot of adult scenes in them, and listened to MUSIC that idolized sex and the body. This is not healthy for a young adult. Plus I never developed any healthy relationships with friends in Alaska. The few that I “had” were very casual and were not placed in God. This allowed me to become more willing to stray. The saddest part about this whole thing? I DID NOT EVEN KNOW IT WAS HAPPENING! That’s right. This is why after circumstances changed and I moved back home to Idaho, I decided to recommit my life to Christ. Honestly I bet my parents had no idea that I had drifted away. I still read my Bible and talked to my parents about God, but he wasn't an active part of my lifestyle. 

So parents before sending your children off, pray for them. Not the “hope they finish their degree” prayer, but the “I hope they guard their heart” prayer. They probably won’t understand what that means until they have left it vulnerable, but hopefully they stay true to themselves and to Christ. 

              Proverbs 22:6
                            "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Raised Christian

Ok so I wanted to start this off by talking about a struggle I have had for most of my life. 
When was I saved?
This being a topic that I believe affects some children who are brought up in a Christian home. 
I know this sounds silly most people have it written down in their Bible on the front page, mark it on their calendars and thank the Lord on that day for changing their life. However for me, I don’t know when or where I was. 
I grew up in a Christian home my entire life with two wonderful parents, Fred and Darcy, to guide me on my journey through life with Christ. The only problem is that I was always with Jesus so I don’t know when I gave my heart to him. I know what you are thinking. Problem? Why is walking with Jesus a problem? IT IS NOT! Trust me I am very blessed in that I never was the “bad” kid. Sure I sinned but always the little things (Not saying that sins are ranked different, they are all the same in God’s eyes), I would lie to my parents, fight with my siblings but I never stepped out of the “normal boundaries” my parents had set. I didn’t sneak out, (no joke) do drugs, (not even a puff) or go to graduation parties that my fellow classmates held. I knew theses things would disappoint my parents, funny though, I didn't think it would disappoint God. Seams like he should be the center of my life. To be honest, for years and even now sometimes he isn’t. Shocking! Did a christian just say God isn't always in her life? Yes, yes I did. It is something that I have to consistently work on, day in and day out. 
Our pastor this week, Jonathan Alexander (shout out to Northshore Community Church of Kirkland WA), said something that I really took to heart. We were reading about the woman who anointed Jesus’s feet with oil, and he said, “One who much is forgiven, loves much” now he was paraphrasing Jesus.

Luke 7:47 “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

Convicting message, but to be honest, after he said this all I could think was “I do love little”. I spend more time during the day thinking about what I am going to make for dinner rather than praying or even thanking the Lord for all of the blessings he has given to, not just me but my husband as well. We have more than we could ask for. Sometimes it doesn't seem that way living in our culture, but we do. I have a roof over my head and a car that is definitely not perfect but can get me from A to B, an income that satisfies all our needs and more, and on top of it all a family that loves me and my husband unconditionally. So why do I love little? I don’t know, I am working on it daily. I changed a preset in my car to Christian radio, have been listening to more messages online, and spending more time with my Bible and thinking on the Lord. I do think that in time these changes will help me to love the Lord more and be thankful for his blessings whenever they are bestowed. But again I still struggle with when I committed my life to Christ. Some may think this is silly, I walk with God now why would I care when I started? I think that way as well occasionally, but other times I wonder have I truly ever walked with him? The answer of course is yes but I never had the “aha” moment some do. They feel the Holy Spirit pouring over them and you can see instantly a changed person. Maybe that didn’t happen to me because I wasn't at the breaking point. I don't know. All I know is that on my journey with God I recommitted myself to him after college. I never stopped believing, but my lifestyle had changed and I knew it would lead to a path that God wouldn’t want me to take. So at the age of 19 I sought to put God at the forefront of my life. Just from reading this you already know that he hasn't always been at the forefront. But that isn’t because he left, it was because I wouldn't open the door to let him in. So I guess after all of this I have realized it is a journey that you have to take day by day and through his grace, even if I make a mistake, he will not abandon me. He will accept me with my flaws because he doesn't see them. All he can see is a soul perfect because of Christ, not myself.